Ford’s SUV and pickup truck-focused strategy isn’t just a U.S.-centered issue.
The company’s European division will also follow a similar path in the future, according to an official announcement earlier this year. That decision shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone given that SUVs and commercial vehicles are Ford’s only profitable vehicles in Europe. However, not all Ford SUVs are doing great on the Old Continent.
While Ford sold 153,542 Kugas and 111,856 EcoSports last year, it only managed to convince 9,527 Europeans to buy its Edge range-topping SUV (pictured). Edge sales fell 41 percent in 2018 over the previous year.
According to Autonews Europe, Ford will fix that by replacing the Edge with a seven-seat version of the next-generation Kuga. The automaker will bring at least two new SUVs to Europe this year: a Fiesta-based replacement for the EcoSport and an all-new Kuga which will follow the debut of the Escape.
Unlike its predecessors, the new Kuga will feature a seven-seat version for the first time, allowing Ford of Europe to stop importing the unsuccessful Edge from the United States. More SUVs are expected to arrive in Europe later on, including two U.S. imports: the baby Bronco and the “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover.
Ford needs to expand its SUV portfolio in Europe given that only 27 percent of the passenger vehicles it sold in the region last year were SUVs — in a market where SUVs accounted for 35 percent of all European sales in 2018.
That has to change and Ford has provided a clear hint at its intentions in January when it announced that it earmarked 90 percent of its global capital allocation through 2023 for “trucks and utilities.” That includes SUVs, pickup trucks, and commercial vehicles.